Header image for news printout

UN expert on the right to health launches first official visit to Paraguay

ASUNCION / GENEVA (21 September 2015) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Dainius Pūras will visit Paraguay from 23 September to 6 October 2015 to make an independent assessment of the realization of the right to health in the country, focusing in particular on groups in vulnerable situations, social exclusion and poverty, including indigenous communities.

“I look forward to the visit and to observe the level of enjoyment of the right to health in Paraguay, including recent achievements and challenges faced”, Mr. Pūras said, announcing the first official mission to the country by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor the implementation of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

During his mission, the Special Rapporteur will consider issues related to the enjoyment of the right to health, including availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of health services, goods and facilities. The expert will pay particular attention to the human right indicators on the enjoyment of the right to health, primary health care as the basis of the national health system, and the situation of healthcare workers.  

Moreover, based on non-discrimination and equality principles, Mr. Pūras will address issues such as maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity; the right to health of children and adolescents, including sexual and reductive health; policies and programmes for those with HIV/AIDS; the right to health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons; and the enjoyment of the right to mental health. 

Besides visiting various locations in Asunción, the UN Special Rapporteur will also travel to Coronel Oviedo and Ciudad del Este.  At the end of the visit, the expert will share with the media his preliminary observations at a press conference on 6 October at 11:00, at the UN House, Mariscal López y Saravi, Asunción. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

Mr. Pūras will present a report containing his observations and recommendations during a forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council, in June 2016.

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to help States, and others, promote and protect the right to the highest attainable standard of health (right to health). Danius Pūras (Lithuania) is a medical doctor with notable expertise on mental health, child health, and public health policies. He is a Professor and the Head of the Centre for Child Psychiatry Social Paediatrics at Vilnius University, and teaches at the Faculty of Medicine, Institute of International Relations and Political science and Faculty of Philosophy of Vilnius University, Lithuania. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Health/Pages/SRRightHealthIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

OHCHR Country page – Paraguay: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/LACRegion/Pages/PYIndex.aspx

For press inquiries and additional information, please contact:
In Asunción (during the visit):
Javier Chamorro (+595 21 607 904 / +595 971 733 060 / jchamorro@hchr.org.py)
Dolores Infante-Cañibano (+ 41 79 752 0483 / dinfante@ohchr.org)
In Geneva: Lucia de la Sierra (+41 22 917 9741 / ldelasierra@ohchr.org) or at srhealth@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitednationshumanrights  
Google+ gplus.to/unitednationshumanrights   

Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en